Subliminal Style
Effortless. Authentic. Professional.

Catching Rae

What Is the Ideal Body Shape?

Today we're kicking off a series on Figure Flattery - woohoo! But in order to understand how to adjust your figure, we first need to discuss just what flattery means in the first place. 

In my practice, figure flattery means using clothes and accessories to create the illusion of a figure that is more ideal than it is without the clothes. However, the concept of the ideal figure has always been fluid. Throughout history, we've seen voluptuous Rubenesques, corseted Victorians, boyish flappers, heroin-chic waifs, and muscular athletes (just to name a few!) held up as having the "perfect" women's body type. We've also seen the ideal men's body type change, including figures like the burly warriors, plump nobles, lean Cary Grant movie stars, 80s gym rats, and weekend warriors. 

Today, figure flattery is even more subjective and contentious than ever, because the multiplicity of accessible references has exploded with the prevalence of video and photography. Any teen with a camera can immortalize their bod in an Instagram post and put it out there for all the world to see. The good news is that this gives us as individuals free reign when it comes to molding a unique personal image. We get to choose whether to present a figure associated with leisure, activity, indulgence, moderation, femininity, masculinity, grunge culture, rap culture, and so on. 

The aspects of your figure that you choose to emphasize and de-emphasize will ultimately depend on what an ideal body shape means to you, but most people will generally do so by adjusting the look of these key traits:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Waist/Torso
  • Hips
  • Rear
  • Thighs
  • Legs

We'll get into the whys and hows of all this - but for now, take a moment to think about your own body shape, what you think it says about you completely as-is, and how you would prefer to tweak it to make you feel more like the amazing, authentic YOU that's on the inside. Are you a delicate petite but feel like you should have been born a commanding Amazon? Are you a muscular, imposing dude who's actually gentle and caring? Do you just wish your tush felt more balanced compared to the rest of your body? Do you wish your belly looked flatter and more fit? 

Identifying your "problem" areas will give you clarity on which areas to adjust with the highest priority - and which to embrace because they're already totally beautiful and strut-ready. :)